I never thought I would need any hand-holding as an adult. I naively believed that one day I would wake up and find myself graduated to adulthood, and that going it alone was one of the true signs that I had reached this milestone. The truth of the matter is that now, as an adult, I need guidance and mentorship more than ever.
I can think of three people whom I consider mentors. They have all come into my adult life at different times, usually when I needed them the most, and they have all stuck with me. They surprised me with their enthusiasm to guide me. Each of them possesses humility and generosity when it comes to their unique talents and knowledge.
While I found them through professional means, their guidance extends beyond the workplace. They are encouraging without enabling bad attitudes and behaviors. They acknowledge my shortcomings, but also refuse to let them win. Their belief is often implicit; instead of saying, “I think you can do this,” they push me by saying, “Do this.”
I always thought that I would have to persuade someone to become my mentor, but to my surprise, my mentors all pursued me. In this way, good mentorship is similar to our relationship with Christ. Christ pursues us — He has great plans for us and excitedly waits for us to follow him, all the while guiding us along the way. His belief and love for us are unwavering — He has seen us at our darkest and loves us all the same.
As with any mentorship relationship, however, the effort goes both ways. Our mentors are present to help us, but this means nothing if we don’t accept their assistance. Christ is always there to help us, but He bestows on us free will, and it’s our choice as to whether or not we trust and follow Him or trek out on our own. In turn, His relentless pursuit of us can be paid forward. He asks us to share the blessings we’ve been given — the love He offers and the gifts and guidance provided by our earthly mentors.
Wherever we land, it is important to remember everyone who helped us get there. My mentors didn’t have to spend time on me, but they did. To me, this embodies the spirit of Christ and shows just a sliver of how He loves us. We may not feel deserving or worthy, but He sees us for who we are and He doesn’t give up on us. He invites us to do the same for others.